The Democratic Alliance (DA) has justified not mincing words when it branded Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s assertions that social grant beneficiaries should be able to live on R753 per month and buy “adequate food” with additional non-food items, “deeply insensitive and completely untrue.”
Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini made the assertions in her reply to a DA parliamentary question. Following her statement however, a petition was launched, demanding government to increase social grants.
The DA also challenged “Minister Dlamini to come shopping with us on Wednesday, 22 June, at the Shoprite in Soweto, so that she can see for herself what R753 can buy.”
However, the opposition party says the minister is yet to give a nod to its shopping invitation. DA MP, Bridget Masango said, “the minister had not responded to the party’s invitation 10 days ago to go shopping.
Masango noted that most families in the country hardly feed on healthy foods and that most children in the country have stunted growth because of inadequate support grant. She reveled that studies have shown almost a quarter of South Africa’s children had stunted growth.
Meanwhile, reports had it that Dlamini recently paid a whooping R11 000 at the luxurious Oyster Box in Umhlanga on a Sunday night. A local daily was reliably told: “Yes, she did stay there last night [Sunday] and paid R11 000.”
This prompted the DA to demand answers on how the minister could justify how she expected a family to survive on R753, while she enjoyed such obvious luxury.
Speaking in a campaign in Port Elizabeth last Friday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille accused Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini of having no idea what it costs poor people to survive in South Africa.
“If a minister says that people can live off [R753] a month, she has no clue what it costs to survive and then, having said that, to go and spend many nights, not just one night, in a hotel that costs R11 000 a night shows just how little she knows about the challenges and struggles of ordinary South Africans,” she said.
The Premier was accompanied by DA mayoral candidate Athol Trollip and Ngqura constituency leader Nqaba Bhanga. She boasted to residents about the successes being made in the City of Cape Town.
The seasoned politician also made her way through Port Elizabeth’s Northern areas to donate clothing to the families who lost their homes recently in a fire outbreak.
The opposition said its set to win some of the country’s highly contested metros, including Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, Tshwane, Johannesburg, and Ekurhuleni in Gauteng.